Andrew Chandler

The Project

Andrew (he/him/his) will utilize legal services alongside robust community outreach programs at the Legal Aid Society to secure and preserve public benefits for low-income individuals and families in Louisville, Kentucky.

Our nation’s social safety net represents an absolutely vital lifeline for ensuring that the basic needs of families and individuals are met and, moreover, that the long-term social mobility necessary to escape extreme poverty can be facilitated. However, a decades-old political agenda of ruthless welfare austerity predicated upon class oppression and the often explicitly racist distinctions between the “deserving” and “undeserving” poor have resulted in a system that brutally shames and materially harms our society’s most vulnerable citizens. Louisville is no exception, and our community deserves comprehensive guidance and representation to ensure that every economically distressed person receives the benefits they need.

Every food stamp denial, every failure to provide medical coverage, every refusal to fulfill the promise of our social safety net represents another deadly arrow fired from the cruel structure of policy violence afflicting our low-income communities. Because material relief and access to justice are often far out of reach for these communities, Andrew feels called to join the Legal Aid Society in providing aid. He hopes to facilitate economic mobility through public benefits advocacy and thereby help to alleviate the suffering administered against the often-hidden wards of our city where generational poverty remains a brutally anchored reality.

Fellowship Plans

Andrew will help low-income families secure food benefits and connect Louisville’s unhoused population with steady financial lifelines via Social Security and related programs. This Fellowship will also maintain an open channel with the expungement arm of the Legal Aid Society to assist individuals who were previously ineligible for public benefits as a collateral consequence of a criminal conviction.

Media

Recent graduate receives Equal Justice Works Fellowship

As a native of Louisville, Kentucky, with a single-minded interest in public service, I bear a natural connection to the community and a deep sense of moral urgency towards improving the material economic conditions of our city’s most vulnerable residents.

Andrew Chandler /
2022 Equal Justice Works Fellow

The Project

Andrew will serve rural Kentucky, where he has identified a desperate need for legal services for those who have been impacted by a variety of different issues beyond their control.

Elder abuse is a problem due to how extremely under-represented and under-reported it is. This project presents an opportunity to reach out to vulnerable communities and help directly with legal assistance, as well as reaching out to community leaders, other legal service providers, and non-legal service providers to train, educate, and assist in serving rural Kentucky’s aging community in the best ways possible.

Andrew became an attorney with the intention to help those who cannot help themselves. Our elders are people who have been through so much but too often end up feeling like they are helpless and forgotten or, perhaps worse, unwanted. No person should have to go through such feelings, especially when there are means to help them and show them how much they still mean to the world. Andrew is glad to do what he can to provide aid dealing with legal issues and helping older adults feel safe.

Fellowship Plans

As part of this program, Andrew plans to both help the elderly population by direct legal representation, and to reach out to the community to aid in identifying elder abuse. By bringing more visibility to the topic by representation and community outreach, Andrew believes more victims will come forward and receive the help they need.

Media

2015 alum focuses on outreach, advocacy for elderly, rural Kentuckians

The Inspiration

The Project

I will work with Legal Aid and the Jefferson County Veterans Treatment Court in developing an ongoing partnership to better serve the needs of our nation’s veterans. Veterans Treatment Courts can address the unique needs of veterans who have entered the criminal justice system. As an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow, I will provide civil legal services to defendants in Veterans Treatment Court that will help them comply with a court ordered diversion program and obtain sustained economic and social stability. I will assist Legal Aid in providing civil legal services to the general veteran population through its established Kentucky Corps of Advocates for Veterans.

The Inspiration

The Project

Provide uniform, high quality representation for low-income Veterans with an emphasis on reducing and preventing homelessness amongst Veterans in the Louisville Legal Aid Society’s service area through direct legal representation. An additional emphasis will be placed on collaborating with local veteran service organizations and non-profits that provide non-legal services focused on addressing the needs of low-income Veterans.

 

Commitment to expressing gratitude to Veterans for their service should not cease when they return home from war or when they hang up their uniforms and enter the civilian realm.

Sean Dennis